Jul 22, 2007

Displaying Our Flag

Pop quiz. On June 12, when you hang the flag vertically, which color should be on the left field? Red or blue?

A decor, whether trivial or important, will reflect the care and thoughtfulness that went into its creation. This manifests in our everyday rituals as individuals and citizens, like displaying our flag during independence day. I have noticed that more and more, we have become careless in displaying our flags on June 12 (if we even care to display the flag at all).

For instance, this year, while driving eastward along Ayala Avenue, I caught local government employees hanging flags the wrong way around on lampposts in the middle of the street. They were hanging the flags vertically, triangle pointing downward, with the red field on the left -- an arrangement reserved for war.

I took a photograph on my cellphone camera, just to make sure. One could argue that the flags were being displayed to appear correct from the opposite lane. (Check out the second photo, at the center and a bit down to the right, you will see the flag on the opposite lane).

But that is not right, since, on the opposite lane, if you were westbound, you would see the other flag also being displayed in reverse. A few weeks later, passing through Ayala again, I noticed that they had corrected their error and thus brought back peace in Ayala Avenue.
Moreover, the flags were made of see-through material. Even if they were displayed correctly from one side, they would always show up wrong from the opposite side.

The Makati government could have simplified this by putting the two flags back-to-back and mounting them at the center of the lamp posts. This back-to-back arrangement would have shown correctly on both lanes.

The points that are easily missed are this. We have forgotten how to display our flag in the proper manner. And, when we do remember to display our flag, we don't even care enough to make it look right from all angles.

And this was not just happening in Ayala Avenue. In Megamall, all stores displayed the flag correctly on their glass windows, if you were outside of the store looking in. But once you went inside the store and looked outwards, the flags would be signifying war!

I observed this on other malls like Robinsons Galleria. The only good flag-displays I found were in The Podium. Here, the stores took the extra effort to put two flags back-to-back so that they displayed correctly inside and outside. Others also took a safer approach by showing the flag horizontally (with blue field on top, of course).

Now *there's* another simple idea! Why not just display the flag, horizontally, or in landscape direction as we call it nowadays? That would avoid the cost of an extra flag and the extra effort of putting two of them back-to-back.

1 comment:

Robby Villabona said...

Speaking of care and thoughtfulness in decoration... a Christmas tree at the lobby of a building of a company I used to work for was assembled with the branches randomly plugged into the main trunk. So you had long branches in the middle and top and short branches at the bottom and middle.